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Processed my first batch today

Hi again all,

I made a few posts a couple months ago asking if my sauces looked ok, they had sediment growth in them. So I took the advice of the forum members, put them in the cabinet and forgot about them.

Finally opened up the jars for processing and they smelled amazing! So they passed the smell test. Then I tested pH of the brine, and it was around 4.0, great lets make sauce.

Made 2 sauces. One hot (red), one mild (green). IMO red turned out much much better than green. Red starts with a very nice pineapple and mango sweetness, then has a very slight acid bite, then the heat comes. Its quite hot, but it is subdued by the sweetness.

After blending all the ingredients with some of the brine from fermentation. Sauces were boiled for about 30 minutes. Bottles, caps, ladle. and funnels were boiled for 30 minutes. Then I got bottled each of the 12 bottles you see hear. I figure with the pH and the cooking, theyre be good at room temp for 6 months, and in the fridge for at least 12 months. These are underestimates probably. Theyre all in the fridge now just bc I have room.

Red sauce: 7 pepper pineapple surprise
White onion
Shallot
Garlic
Carrots
Lemongrass
Pineapple
Mango
Lemon juice
White vinegar
Red Savina habaneros
Yellow scotch bonnets
Red ghosts
Peach ghosts
Scorpion butch T
7 pot Trinidad yellow
Copenhagen orange ghosts
Red and yellow bell peppers
Xanthin gum

Green sauce: unnamed
White onion
Garlic
Carrots
Pineapple
Tomatillos
Lime juice
White vinegar
Cumin
Jalapeños
Serrano peppers
Poblano peppers
Heatless habaneros
Green bell peppers
Xanthin gum

Tell me what you all think....I wish I could share!

Cant wait to plant next season and make more sauce.

Cheers,
HH
 

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MikeUSMC

Extreme Member
Wrex said:
Then I tested pH of the brine, and it was around 4.0
A small bit of advice...

The brine will 'usually' (but not always) have a lower pH than the ingredients IN the brine. Next time, for a more accurate measurement, you should really blend everything up BEFORE you test the pH. Different fruits and veggies have different pH levels; some acidic and some not. Peppers, for example, have a higher pH level than blueberries. At the end of the fermentation, there's a good chance that the blueberries have a lower pH than the brine, but the peppers might not. Make sense? (If not, let me know. I haven't had my coffee yet this morning ;) )That's why it's important to incorporate (blend) EVERYTHING together that's going into the sauce before you check the pH level. That being said, I've had pH readings go both ways after blending. I've seen the pH drop, and I've seen it rise (compared to the brine) after everything's been mixed up, depending on what ingredients were in there. Just something to keep in mind for next time :)

Other than that, your sauces look and sound delicious! I especially like the vibrant color of the orange/red one!
Congrats on your first batches, Wrex!!! :party:

Keep 'em coming!
:cheers:
 
Thanks for the words of advice!

I did add a decent about of, brine, fruit juice, and white vinegar to the brine before blending, so those things could only keep the pH low, however the fruits I added I cant be sure, youre right. I also ran out of pH strips!! Haha. Before I give the sauce to anyone, Ill crack one open and test the pH. I assume is lingering right around 4.0-4.5

I cant wait to make another batch. I might start another in a few weeks.

Cheers!!
HH
 
Yeah that stuff looks neon! Pro tip, via salsalady, dont boil your caps. Water can get between the liner and the plastic and create a place for nasties to grow. I get a dish of vinegar and some q-tips and swab the inside of the cap, but I may be the only one doing this. I think they sterilize just fine while inverted after filling with 200° sauce
 

salsalady

Business Member
Yes, what Walchit said. Dont boil the caps. If the sauce is at proper temp when bottling, the Invert will take care of the nasties.

Doing the vinegar swab thing is ok for a few caps, but I'm not sure if it would get into all the grooves and really, the only part of concern is the top of the cap that comes in contact with the sauce. Doing that for a few hundred caps at a time? Not for me, but if it makes you feel better, I dont see anything wrong with it.
 
Like I said, I'm probably the only one doing it! Haha.

It is tedious, and really all it does is make me feel better about anything that could have gotten on the caps. I mainly just hit tje liner, but I just swab though them as fast as possible. Biggest batch ive done was like 6 cases I think
 

salsalady

Business Member
MikeUSMC said:
A small bit of advice...

The brine will 'usually' (but not always) have a lower pH than the ingredients IN the brine. Next time, for a more accurate measurement, you should really blend everything up BEFORE you test the pH. Different fruits and veggies have different pH levels; some acidic and some not. Peppers, for example, have a higher pH level than blueberries. At the end of the fermentation, there's a good chance that the blueberries have a lower pH than the brine, but the peppers might not. Make sense? (If not, let me know. I haven't had my coffee yet this morning ;) )That's why it's important to incorporate (blend) EVERYTHING together that's going into the sauce before you check the pH level. That being said, I've had pH readings go both ways after blending. I've seen the pH drop, and I've seen it rise (compared to the brine) after everything's been mixed up, depending on what ingredients were in there. Just something to keep in mind for next time :)

Other than that, your sauces look and sound delicious! I especially like the vibrant color of the orange/red one!
Congrats on your first batches, Wrex!!! :party:

Keep 'em coming!
:cheers:
I wanted to comment further on MikeUSMC post....
 
What he said is important.  It's called the "finished equilibrium" of a sauce.  It means to get an accurate pH reading of ALL the ingredients, not just the brine.
 
Theory- When a cucumber is put into vinegar to make a 'pickle', it takes a while for the vinegar acid to permeate the cucumber flesh all the way to the middle.  Which is why pickle recipes say to let the jars set for 2 weeks before using.  If you were to cut open the cucumbers after 5-7 days, the outer area would be 'pickled' and have a lower pH, the center flesh would still have the high pH of a regular cucumber. 
 
When fermenting, the same principles apply, which is why it is most often suggested to at least coarse chop the produce so the GoodBugs can get into the flesh of the produce faster. 
 
When making sauces, processing rules say to take a pH test 24 hours after processing/bottling.  This allows all the ingredients and acids to meld, so the whole thing has the same pH.  If the sauce is somewhat chunky, the vegetable bits may not be as acidic as they would be after 24 hours.  Or pineapple juice might make the sauce lower pH than if it's all blended up with other higher pH ingredient like peppers, onion, garlic. 
 
If possible, it's a good idea to take a pH test at the time of processing/bottling just to see where it's at and another one 24 hours later.  You don't have to open a whole bottle just for the 2nd test, just put a little bit in the fridge, covered with cling wrap overnight, allow to come to room temp and take a reading. 
 
Hope this helps,
SL
 
edit- to list the correct person who posted the quote I quoted... :doh:
 
Walchit said:
Yeah that stuff looks neon! Pro tip, via salsalady, dont boil your caps. Water can get between the liner and the plastic and create a place for nasties to grow. I get a dish of vinegar and some q-tips and swab the inside of the cap, but I may be the only one doing this. I think they sterilize just fine while inverted after filling with 200° sauce
How about soaking the caps in a no rinse sanitizer like star San? This would be quicker and would cover all surface area.
 

salsalady

Business Member
If you really feel it's needed, but again, not necessary!  Don't make extra work for yourself.  All professional processes I've ever gotten approved do not require anything other than Hot Fill-Invert-Hold using lined plastic caps.  Dunking plastic caps with a liner in water will get the solution under the edges of the liner.  And that does have the possibility of squeezing out when the cap is tightened, maybe getting into the sauce, maybe compromising the seal....I dunno... but it's not been require by any Process Authority I've ever worked with.
 
The liners aren't glued down the whole way around the cap.  They have a little dab of glue in the middle to hold them in place, the edges are not sealed down.
 
 
If someone is reeeaaally that concerned, I'd suggest getting some metal caps with an inner ring/liner like those on mason canning jar lids.  They are available for woozy bottles, just gotta do some googling.  Using the glass bottle and the lined metal lids, the bottles can be BWB after filled, the caps can be heated gently in hot water like jar lids are when pressure canning or BWB in mason jars, and they can also be dunked in No-Rinse sanitizer to keep your peace of mind.
 
SL 
 
Thanks again for the suggestions SalsaLady!! I'm processing a a new sauce this weekend, ill test pH of the brine and then the blended sauce 25 Hrs. later. Ill prob make a post about it.


LavaTonsil, thanks for the question. The green sauce actually turned out better than expected. It was tangy like a tomatillo, slightly pineappley, and very mild spice. My girlfriend loved it. Goes great on a pork taco.  
 
Sounds delicious. I'm a big fan of a milder green sauce for the versatility... And my gf will eat it too.
Much easier to convince her I need to monopolize more window space if there's something in it for her
 

salsalady

Business Member
LavaTonsil said:
Sounds delicious. I'm a big fan of a milder green sauce for the versatility... And my gf will eat it too.
Much easier to convince her I need to monopolize more window space if there's something in it for her
Window space for growing peppers or refrigerator space for sauces?
 
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